cover business journal
Read More
Magazines

Goldstein Turns College Thesis Into Fast Moving Enterprise

Business Journal

Rollerblade-junkie Jen Goldstein, the entrepreneurial force behind Bladin’ Action Inc helped launch Philadelphia into the inline skating trend. Her enthusiasm about inline skating hasn’t died since she left her wheel prints all over the University of Pennsylvania campus.

The 1990 Wharton School graduate founded Bladin’ Action, Philadelphia’s first in-line skate specialty shop. Bladin’ Action provides rental and repair services, and in addition to selling skates, has several instructors ready to teach novices all the ins and outs.

During her senior year at Wharton, Goldstein returned to campus with a pair of Rollerblades she’d purchased in New York. No one was selling in-line skates in Philadelphia in 1989. One day as she skated on the Penn Campus, Goldstein decided it would make good business sense to provide the supply to meet the demand.

She took a class on new product development. Professor Burton J. Brodo guided her in writing a 50-page these of the lifecycle of the in-line skate titled “The Development of a Product: In-Line Skates.”

After graduation, Goldstein had no money to begin a major retailing business, so she maxed out a credit card purchasing 10 rental pairs of in-line skates.

She located Bladin’ Action in the Bellevue Sporting Club. It was there that Goldstein had the opportunity to give both basketball legend Julius Erving and Shawn Bradley, then a of the Philadelphia 76ers, their first in-line skating lessons. Because of their size 16 feet, Goldstein also found out where to have custom skates made.

But marketing the idea of in-line skating was her biggest challenge. One problem was that many people perceive in-line skates as potentially dangerous, Goldstein said.

The conclusion of her thesis was that there would be a need for places to safely skate in as more pople bought their own skates. The streets and sidewalks are the most accessible alternatives to an in-line skating rink.

“It’s more fun to skate at a rink,” Goldstein said. “Although there’s a rink in Villanova, it’s too small and it has a limited adult hours.”

One of Goldstein’s goal is to build such a rink. She’s written a business plan and met with potential investors.

Within the last three years, more stores carry in-line skates. Their increase availability has mean an increase in competition to her store on Fifth Street, between and Sough and Lombard, in Philadelphia. To combat, Goldstein offers free classes. She’s also narrowed down her customer’s reasons for not wanting to buy a pair of in-line skates.

“People don’t like the feel of skates because either the skate fits too snug and they don’t like the way that feels or they don’t like the feel of a cheap pair of skates, which usually is uncomfortable.”

She also remains committed to teaching about the safe use of in-line skates and protective gear. The Bladin’ Action’s slogan is “Save your ass — take our class.” To that end she recommends renting a pair of skates and taking a class before someone decides to buy skates.

(photo caption)
Jen Goldstein on wheels in front of her Bladin’ Action store at 506 S. Fifth Street, Philadelphia.

By Laurie Whalen – Special to the Business Journal

cover rinksider
Read More
Magazines

Funky Superhero Makes Learning to Skate Fun!

Rinksider 2010

Jenny Jen Goldstein of Philadelphia , Pa. , is a hard-working, roller skate loving, creative business woman. When she’s not working “full time in an office,” she spends her evenings and weekends teaching roller skating and creating a variety of media materials to inspire and teach the young – and young at heart – how to roller skate.

For starters, Jenny Jen and an artist friends created an animated, roller skating superhero named Skatewoman. According to Goldstein, “Skatewoman is the world’s only rappin’ skate teacher and superhero.” The name also happens to be Goldstein’s online alias, and the animated character bears a striking resemblance to the live Skatewoman.

Skatewoman and her “funky and furry friends,” show up on several of Goldstein’s how-to-skate music videos, such as the recently released Boogie Back Rap. This music video is, according to Goldstein, “perfect for skating rinks with video screens, for the beginner backwards song. ‘Everybody clear the rink, backwards skaters only’…is how the animated music video begins. Skatewoman raps on quads, ice and inlines with her funky and furry friends to show the world how to skate back like a real cool cat!”

Other animated, instructional videos being produced by Skatewoman teach viewers how to: get up, stand, skate, stop (4 Simple Ways), turn, prevent mistakes beginners make; change terrains smooth like a snake, safely escape (fall properly), and maintain skates and more.

Just released this October is Goldstein’s Skatewoman album, with lyrics by Jenny Jen and music by Taki76, which includes over a dozen “funky skate dance” tracks, including the Happy Birthday Skate Song, Happy Holidays Skate Song, Valentine’s Day Skate Song, Skating on Mars with the Stars, new mixes of Boogie Back Rap, Glide Slide Save Ya Hide and much more.

“The Happy Birthday Skate Song is the first and only birthday skate song and it’s interactive too,” shared Goldstein. “The skaters call out the birthday boy or girl’s name on the count of four.”

In addition to music videos, Goldstein is working (REMOVE- with several teachers) on a series of Skatewoman comic books that will include lesson plans for science, math, physics and English for pre-K through 12th grade.

Goldstein’s Skatewoman Super Series is comprised of animated music videos (on DVD and via downloads), comic books, sing-along songs (CDs), posters, clothing “and other cool stuff,” she said. To view select videos and find out more about Skatewoman offerings, go to www.Skatewoman.com.

cover phillyfit
Read More
Magazines

Physically Fit Skate 101

Philly Fit

Philly Fit

Take a wild guess.  How long have skates been around?  Skate artifacts from Scandinavia date back 6000 years.  Ice skates were made out of animal bone with leather straps.  The handcrafted skates were used on frozen lakes for transportation and recreation.  This favorite pastime of kings and queens is now convenient, affordable, easy and fun for everyone.

While ice sure is nice, modern day skates with wheels give us real freedom.  It is estimated that over a billion people engage in some form of skating globally, with ages ranging from 2-102 years young.  Skating is a universal language

Whatever you’re into, there’s a style for you, your family and friends, too.  You can roll, stroll, race, dance, jump, grind, glide and slide.  Perhaps you’d prefer to pick up a hockey stick or chuck a chick at a rollerderby bout.  If none of those suit you, how about rollersoccer, rollerbasketball, downhill, off-road, weaving around cones or making up your own?

Inline skate wheels are arranged in a single row, while traditional quad skates have side-by-side wheels.  Quads may be considered ‘70s retro style, but their popularity among derby and dance skaters proves they’re here to stay.  However, the inline design is more conducive to handling outside conditions and transitions.

Ever fantasized about gracefully gliding along Kelly Drive?  Think you can’t?  Regardless of your opinion, if you can walk, you can roll in control!  You’re not too tall or uncoordinated at all.  And, neither your ankles nor knees are too weak.  Body weight and shape don’t change the rules.  You have no bad habits like rabbits if you’ve never laced up before.  If you’ve already given it a whirl, don’t be discouraged if you spent more time on your behind or found yourself hanging onto the railing–knowing that you resembled an out-of-control monkey on skates.  It may surprise you that monkeys can skate great, perform tricks and do back flips, too.  They don’t suffer from emotional barriers like we do.

When I started skating, my lack of both coordination and athletic ability were easy to blame for my inability to skate.  Why bother taking a class if practice is supposed to make perfect?  At the rate I was progressing, it would take a lifetime before I could negotiate anything on skates.  When I was finally able to push and roll, I realized that wasn’t the hard part.  Changing terrains and stopping seemed impossible.  Little did I know, there is a secret to skating.

Some people just naturally get up and go their first time around, but even they can’t stop without a prop.  Stopping on skates is anything but innate.  I didn’t have a brake on my inline skates because a friend removed it, telling me I didn’t need it.  Well, I guess not, since I didn’t know how to use it anyway.  The only methods at my disposal were to start praying immediately and then “ride it out,” or slam into any inanimate object in my vicinity.  Fortunately, I never took anyone down with me.  It was years before I could stop on my own, even ineffectively.  And back then, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it again.

My public display of learning how to skate the hard way, gained me the reputation of a flapping, flailing “can’t stand up” comedian.  I made the mistakes all beginners make–staring down at the ground, throwing my arms around, locking my knees and sticking my butt out, no doubt.  If I only knew then what I know now, I could’ve saved years of practice, along with my hide and pride.

Ability…schmability.  I was elated to discover that I was entirely wrong about that.  It was like a light bulb went off in my head after plowing into a statue of Ben Franklin.  Perhaps a transfer of mental energy occurred which enlightened me to the fact that there is a science behind skating.  If I could teach myself the science, I could teach the world.

By combining math and physics, I acquired the kind of knowledge you can’t get in college–yet.  The results of my experiments confirmed my theories.  My actions produced the predicted reactions.  With a little help from Sir Isaac Newton, I developed Jenny Jen’s Laws of Skating–balance, direction, motion, and speed.  Finally, I could make my skates do what I wanted them to.  It was like magic, but it was science.

Although it seemed obvious that the same laws applied to all kinds of skates–quads, ice, and inlines–I needed evidence.  My previous experiences on ice had left me with the distinct impression that it was simply too slippery for me.  Despite my reservations, I eagerly applied my formulas which taught me how to skate on ice in no time.  To make my laws easy to remember, I turned them into rhymes.

Believe it or not, you don’t need skates to learn how to skate.  You can get the confidence on your feet, before getting in the driver’s seat.  After all, you wouldn’t drive a car or ride a bike without knowing how to stop or steer your wheels, would you?  Before lacing up, I highly recommend that everyone learn how to use their tools to skate cool.

Skating rinks all over the tri-state area offer skate rentals and instructions.  The majority don’t provide protective gear, so bring your own!  Most skating injuries are preventable, but wearing gear is not enough.  Gear must be worn securely, and you need know how to use it properly!  Pads act as protection during accidental landings, but did you know that you can use them intentionally to bail when all else fails?  The the only safe way to escape on bikes, boards and skates, is to glide, slide and save your hide.  So, if you ride or roll, slide it on, so you can slide on it!

Most rinks also offer public sessions.  They play music and have modern day conveniences such as climate control, bathrooms, water and lockers.  I love to see families letting the good times roll.  On occasion though, I’ve witnessed parents lifting their kid up by the arms to help them stay afloat.  Instead of helping, they’re preventing their kid from skating.  In order to roll, weight has to be on skates, not suspended in the air.

Don’t buy skates that aren’t comfortable, look cheap or are larger than your shoe size. (Note: unisex equals men’s sizes.)  Once they’re broken in, skates can expand a whole size!  For kids, companies make extendable skates that grow.  Extra space inside skates can cause lack of control and blisters.  Spin the wheels with your hand to make sure they turn around a few times.  And, don’t forget to maintain your skates!

Some of the best outdoor skating on earth is right here in Fairmount Park, the biggest urban park in the world.  Rollin’ around “the Drive” really makes me feel alive!  The uninterrupted eight mile path consists of Kelly Drive (aka East River Drive) with the other side, West River Drive (aka Martin Luther King Drive).  Closed to cars on weekend days (April through October) for recreational use, the recently paved West River Drive is as smooth as a baby’s bottom and features the river view of Boathouse Row.

Have you come across a pack of skaters flying through our streets?  Race over to Landskaters.org to find out how you can become a member.  How about those funky dance skaters jammin’ in front of Lloyd Hall?  The City of Brotherly Love is a great place to skate and spectate!

Skating is a fantastic family activity and a marvelous way to meet people.  It is also my primary mode of transpo.  Additionally, it is a proven fact that skating is low impact and helps burn fat, along with hundreds of calories hourly.  I have friends who actually found their soul mates on skates.  Skating is good for your mind, body and soul!

Take a trip over to www.Skate101.com for free safety tips and tricks.  You’ll also find free music videos that will teach you how to fall safe, gear up, maintain your skates, and more.  Have no fear, Skatewoman is here!
Written by Jenny Jen, “the Skatewoman,” Goldstein

Goldstein’s thesis on skating, at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, rolled her right inline.  After graduation, she became a certified skate instructor and opened Skate 101, Philly’s skate school.  Basketball legend Julius Erving (aka Dr. J) and actor John Cusack are among her thousands of students.  Aware that qualified instructors were rare, she found a way to share her expertise with people everywhere.  Jenny Jen invented “how to” skate songs, so everyone could follow along in the privacy of their own homes.  She rapped her rhymes over funky rhythms by Taki76, and landed a top ten single of the year in the Village Voice with her debut track, “Boogie Back Rap.”  Her instructional music CDs teach the world how to skate on quads, ice, and inlines.  The rest is history.  Today she’s the Dr. Seuss and Sir Isaac Newton of Skating.

Her numerous television appearances include Discovery’s The Learning Channel, Comcast Sportnet, ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox Networks.  Countless magazines and newspapers have featured her, including the world’s biggest hip hop magazine, XXL Magazine, Jewish Exponent, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Daily News, Working Woman, Health, Philadelphia Inquirer and Citipaper.  At present, Goldstein is producing the Skatewoman Super Series, a multimedia “how to skate” product line, including comic books, music videos, and more.  According to Goldstein, “Skatewoman, the world’s only rappin’ skate instructor, saves lives and pride worldwide.”  Like the Declaration of Independence, both Jenny Jen’s Laws of Skating and Skatewoman were born in Philadelphia, and represent “liberty on skates for all.”  Want to learn more about Skatewoman, or Jenny Jen, who is also Philadelphia’s only inline skate instructor?  Boogie on over to www.SKATEWOMAN.com

cover healthmag
Read More
Magazines

Get in Line, In-Line

Health Magazine

Plain old roller skates are burning up the pavement. Skating is the theme of three movies this year, not to mention a Roller Derby reality show, a bunch of commercials, and a whole crew of music videos.

Beyoncé even held a birthday party at a skating rink.

“If you can walk, you can roll,” says Jen Goldstein, producer of the new skate instructional CD You Can Stop.

Hey, whatever it takes to get you moving. And it’s still the best way to serve burgers and shakes at a drive-through.

cover rinksider
Read More
Magazines

Two New CDs Make Learning to Skate Funky and Fun

Rinksider

Lyricist, rapper and celebrity skate instructor “Jenny Jen” Goldstein and her crew released two new “funky” CDs in 2007 that promote roller skating and teach beginners how to “skate cool!”

“Dance music stimulates, inspirational songs motivate and instructional rhymes educate,” said Jen in a recent release. “These unique CDs use the proven most effective learning method to make skating easy and fun for everyone.”

Phat Sk8Trax released Skate 101 and Skating is Sexy in 2007. Skating is Sexy’s hit single Boogie Back Rap was rated number one by New York City’s Village Voice.

The SKATE 101 CD includes 23 easy-to-follow songs that cover what everyone needs to know to skate cool. “It’s hard to miss beginner skaters locking their knees and throwing their arms around unnecessarily. If they only knew to bend their knees and hold their magic table to keep them stable, they’d be a lot more comfortable and fall less,” according to Jen. “But that’s just the beginning. If you can walk, you can roll in control, once you’ve learn what tools you have and how to use them.

“We all know that more people would skate if they could and many would participate more frequently once they get more confident. It’s hard to believe that people skate with no idea how to direct their skates, balance their skates should be in when rolling from the rink should be in when rolling from the rink floor to the carpet.”

The lyrics on SKATE 101 explain it all in simple, fun terms. For example, “Point ya skates to navigate, toes out, go fo, heels out, back mo,” and “slide one skate in front of the mate to change terrains smooth like a snake.”

“But, learning how to skate is just a bonus to Prince, Justin Timberlake and George Clinton lovers. If you dig them, you’ll love Taki76, the composer producer and performer of both CDs,” shared Jen.

Spell it out “S-K-A-T-I-N-G”, add “skating is sexy for you and me,” and you’ve got one of the hottest skating songs ever, along with the title track of the SKATING IS SEXY CD. This CD is also jam packed full with 23 tracks. There are eight fresh new mixes of the world’s only backwards skating song, Boogie Back Rap, to satisfy every music lover and DJ (including Old School Hip Hop, Reggaeton, Gospel, Country, Latin, 80s, Funk and Crunk), along with instrumentals for Karaoke lovers too.

Beyond hokey, Boogie Back Rap’s lyrics begin with “Everybody clear the rink, backwards skaters only, I wrote this rap so you can boogie back to roll in reverse, follow this track…”

Jen added, “You can even rock out to the Rollerderby Girl song while ya learn th rules of the game and sing along “I just wanna be a rollerderby girl!””

Jen is currently developing a skating rink program called Skate Cool Musical, which she plans to take on the road. This interactive musical allows the members of the audience to be spectators and participators. The program includes training other skate instructors to run the show on their own.

In additional, she’s working on the Skate Cool DVD, music videos of her songs that teach everyone how to skate in one hour. With all the music and lyrics ready to roll, she’s currently looking for the right partner to produce the Skate Cool DVD. She’s also searching for skating performers, artists, locations, crew, etc. Her goal is to make a DVD of the funkiest educational music videos in the world for all ages.

In her spare time, when she’s not skating, you can find her in the studio with Taki76 making more great skate music. The debut track Holiday Skate Song, from her upcoming CD entitled All Skate, can be heard at www.SKATE101.com.

If you’re interested in becoming a part of any of these projects or have questions or suggestions, contact Jen at info@SKATE101.com

cover rinksider
Read More
Magazines

Multi-talent releases new CD

Rinksider

Jen Goldstein, owner of the Blading Action skate shop in Philadelphia, Pa., has come out with her second CD with its hip hop rap tunes and words. It’s called “You Can Stop.” It has “hot to skate” lyrics to a good modern beat. Last year she came out with Boogie Back Rap CD, on how to skate backwards. This new CD is about stopping safely. Contact Jen at skate101.com or call 1-XXX-XXX-XXXX, or write:

Blading Action
2601 Pennsylvania Ave.
Philadelphia, Pa. 19130

Jen is a lyricist, skate instructor, skate shop owner, and an avid outdoor in-line skater. Jen has taught Julius Erving, John Cusack and Bonnie Blair how to skate. Her media appearances include Discovery, The Learning Channel, Comcast, SportsNet, NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox news affiliates. Plus, she is always in the press showing off her skating ability. To hear clips, see bios and more, rollover for www.SKATE101.com.

cover workingwoman
Read More
Magazines

Rollerblading’s Fast Track

Working Woman

Business school isn’t supposed to be easy, but Jen Goldstein skated her way through Wharton, Literally.

After completing her senior thesis on the future of in-line skating industry, Goldstein turned the paper into a business plan and in 1991 opened Bladin’ Action, a Philadelphia shop selling skates and lessons.

Higher education paid off. Last year, the 29-year-old Goldstein grossed $150,000, and she opened her second store in May. Not bad, considering that one Rollerblade sales rep told her selling skates was “a guy’s job.”

Fewer than 1% of Rollerblade’s shop-owning dealers are women. But the company seems to have overcome its doubts about Goldstein. It recently promoted her to Blade Pro- one of only 1,000 dealers nationwide authorized to sell high-end skates.

The fact is, nearly half of the 20 million people who tried the sport last year were women. Retailers nationwide moved $396 million worth of in-line skates in ’94, a 40% increase from ’93, reports the National Sporting Goods Association.

Maybe one reason there aren’t more women on the retail end is that they’re at corporate headquarters instead. Jill Schulz, 37, for example, wears two helmets at the in-line giant: She performs on team Rollerblade, a sort of in-line Greatest Show on Earth, and simultaneously runs Camp Rollerblade, for skating enthusiast, Schulz still has trouble getting corporate bigwigs to take her seriously. It’s hard to get their full respect as a business person,” she laments, “ when they still see you on stage doing flips.”
-Melissa Schorr

cover philadelphiamag
Read More
Magazines

50 Great Dates

Philadelphia Magazine

Rent rollerblades (Kneepads, wrist guards and helmets come with the skates) at Bike Line for just $5 an hour or $15 overnight (13th and Locust streets; 735-1503) any sunny afternoon and careen down Kelly Drive or West River Drive, closed to cars on weekends.

Take it slow and skate by the Sporting Club’s Bladin’ Action for a lesson or two first with perky Jennifer Goldstein (985-9876; non-Sporting Club members welcome).